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July 28, 2010

Shocked, Stunned No More

Muhammad Ali, Pope John Paul, John Baumann, Michael J. Fox …….Wait a minute, back up a name.  What do I have in common with this group of famous people? You may have guessed it. The answer is that all these people have been diagnosed with Parkinsons. For those of you who don’t know, symptoms include shaking, inability to blink and poker face. You should know that one of the hidden benefits of Parkinsons is that noone in my Texas Hold’em group could ever tell when I got that fourth deuce on the turn.

My diagnosis prompted me to do something that I felt would be more worthwhile with my life than being the top attorney for a publicly traded company. Despite much concern, especially in this economy, I started teaching undergraduate classes at the University of Louisville and opened my own speaker  & consulting business. Just as there is much that can we done to proactively prevent, or at least slow, the progression of Parkinsons, I dedicated my energy and passion to eliminate workplace harassment, provide supervisor leadership skills training, reduce workplace injuries, teach success skills, and speak on Parkinsons. I also decided to build a house in the woods and be a part of the experience so bought a chainsaw, got some lessons, and cut down over 50 trees myself on weekends. The cutting down was scary, but not as physically draining as cutting up the trees after cutting them down. Missing being an athlete, it was a very rewarding nine months. This is where I am- enjoying life, enjoying work.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I have Parkinsons and I guess proud of it.

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